(Pursh) Torr. & Gray
The plant Tolmiea menziesii / / is a member of the genus Tolmiea. It is known by the common names youth on age, thousand mothers, and piggyback plant. It is a perennial plant commonly kept as an ornamental. It is native to the west coast of North America and occurs from Oregon north to Alaska. It requires moisture and does not tolerate much sun or dry conditions.
The plant has unusual reproductive habits. It grows plantlets from the petiole near the base of each leaf. The plantlets drop off, fall in the soil, and take root there. It will also reproduce by rhizome and by seed propagation. It bears many small flowers in a loose raceme. Each flower consists of a tubular purple-green to brown-green calyx and four linear or subulate (awl-shaped) red-brown petals, about twice the length of the sepals. It has hairy, five to seven-lobed, toothed leaves and a capsule fruit containing spiny seeds.
The plant was formerly considered to be the only member of a monotypic genus until diploid populations (due to autopolyploidy) were split off as a separate species T. diplomenziesii from the tetraploid populations.
- Media related to Tolmiea menziesii at Wikimedia Commons
- T. menziesii info page
- Jepson Manual Treatment
- USDA Plants Profile
- Sunset Western Garden Book, 1995:606–607
- "Flora of North America". eFloras.org. Retrieved 2014-06-03.
- Yarbrough, J. A. (1936). The foliar embryos of Tolmiea menziesii. American Journal of Botany 23(1) 16-20.
- Soltis, D. E. and B. A. Bohm. (1986). Flavonoid chemistry of diploid and tetraploid cytotypes of Tolmiea menziesii (Saxifragaceae). Systemic Botany 11(1) 20-25.
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